Northumbria Police Men 5-4 University of Sunderland Men’s 1sts
Cameron Scarratt Trophy
Monday 21st October 2019, 7.30pm BST
Nissan Sports and Leisure Complex
A total of £734.11 was raised for a wide range of worthy causes on Monday evening at Nissan Sports and Leisure Complex, with the Northumbria Police Men’s team overcoming their University of Sunderland counterparts 5-4 to win the inaugural edition of the trophy named in memory of the former police officer and UoS student.
“A game of two halves,” was the apt summary of the game offered by the NP coach, John Boddy, after the match.
With funds going towards Mind North East, Blue Light Mind, Macmillan Cancer Research and Show Racism the Red Card, it was a contest that proved a fitting tribute to both Cameron’s memory and the many causes it was supporting.
As competitive as it was well-natured, it took no time to come to life.
There were three goals within a frantic opening 10 minutes that saw the police take the lead through a sharp turn and finish before Sunderland began to take control.
The uni swiftly forced the most unfortunate of own-goals when a defender’s attempted interception looped over his goalkeeper and in, with Mathew Konstantinos then putting them in-front as he raced onto a perfectly weighted through-ball, rounded the ‘keeper and coolly slotted home.
In and out of possession the intensity and quality on display from James Clark’s side was immensely impressive and things soon got even better for them when Joe Tunc lifted a deft chip over the advancing stopper and in after being sent clear.
When Amar Abul’s shot then escaped the ‘keeper’s grasp and found the net, it ensured UoS headed in at half-time with a commanding — and well-earned — advantage.
The break proved just what NP needed, though. They rethought and reset to a three at the back and a more populous midfield.
It paid immediate dividends. They forced the ball home from a corner within the opening moments of the second-period and built from there.
Sunderland could no longer play through them with the kind of incision they had for so much of the first-half and, working higher up the pitch and with additional confidence, the police’s third and then their equaliser soon arrived.
They kept pushing too — even with the uni seemingly steadying the ship — and got further reward when they worked their way into the box again with 15 minutes remaining and rifled the ball into the roof of the net from an inside-right position to take a lead that seemed immensely unlikely at the break.
And that was how it stayed, despite a frenetic closing few minutes.
The evening ended with a ceremony that featured a number of touching speeches from those involved in making such an event a reality as well as the presentation of a wide range of generously donated raffle prizes.
The level of success and entertainment offered on the night made the hope that this will be the first of many such events a genuinely exciting prospect.